Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.
Vivian TerMaat is the chief advancement officer at Wedgwood Christian Services, where she leads a team that is committed to advancing the organization’s mission through fundraising and marketing.
Previously, TerMaat worked in broadcasting at WOOD TV 8, WOTV 4 and WXMI FOX 17.
She holds a master of management from Aquinas College and recently earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive designation from CFRE International.
Biggest career break?
Being hired onto the local sales team at WOOD TV 8 at the beginning of my career. It was a fantastic learning opportunity where I met two invaluable mentors whose lessons I still think of today.
Walking across the stage to receive my master of management degree and seeing my three daughters enthusiastically cheering me on. They spent many Saturday afternoons encouraging me in my studies.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
“Anything can be accomplished if you break it down into manageable steps. Start working and focus until completion.” -Diane Kniowski
How did you make your first dollar?
My first job was at 16, working the counter at the local dry cleaner in my hometown of Bloomfield Hills.
I’m really attached to all of the framed family photos that fill our house, especially those of parents and grandparents in their youth.
I love what I’m doing right now. I have the opportunity to be creative, share my enthusiasm with our amazing team and build relationships with people in the community who share that enthusiasm.
If you were president for a day, you would … ?
I would encourage adults to make time to mentor a child in their community. Just 30 minutes a week can make an enormous difference. We’ve seen it happen with our Lunch Buddies program at Wedgwood.
Last book you read?
“Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek.
Last search term you googled?
How to unfreeze an iPad screen?
Your worst habit?
Wanting it done, right now.
To unwind, you like to … ?
Take a long walk while listening to a podcast about something new to me.
St. Petersburg, Russia, with a private, guided tour through the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace.
Person you most admire?
My maternal grandmother, who was accepted to both the law school and the medical school in Santiago, Chile in the 1930s. She chose law school and became an attorney. As a young widow, she worked tirelessly to care for her daughter, my mother. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her love of learning, her graciousness and her deep faith.